Continuing to agitate for their demands, a large number of national health mission (NHM) employees, under the banner of All J&K NHM employees association, Jammu division, held demonstrations in Kishtwar and Rajouri districts for the seventeenth consecutive day on Wednesday.
In Kishtwar, the NHM employees continued to observe a complete pen down strike for the 17th day. While demanding regularization of their services, they threatened to boycott the coming pulse polio immunization campaign, which is scheduled to start from February 3.
Amidst the cold wave, the NHM employees gathered outside district hospital, Kishtwar, and staged a demonstration. They raised slogans against the government.
Speaking on the occasion, the protesters said, "The aim of the protest and strike is to inform the state government as well as the concerned authorities about our genuine grievances. Our demands have not been looked into till now and we have been forced to resort to protests and strikes."
They added, "We won't give up till our services are regularized."
The main demands which were highlighted during the protest included immediate regularization of NHM employees, implementation of equal pay for equal work, maternity leave for female staff with salary and implementation of SRO 225.
The protesters urged the Governor to immediately look into the issue and frame a draft policy for their regularization. "If the government does not concede to our demands at an earliest, we will intensify our agitation and launch a state-wide strike," they warned.
Meanwhile, NHM employees continued to stage a sit-in protest at Rajouri town.
The protesters sat in front of the office of the chief medical officer and continued their strike. "For the last seventeen days, we have been on a strike. It is affecting the healthcare system across the state, but the government seems unmoved," they said.
Expressing resentment, they alleged that the state government has failed to fulfill the promises made to them and reiterated their resolve to continue their agitation till their demands are met.